Incredible battle over the last two days between two of South Jersey’s best programs. In the end, Delsea outlasted host Pennsauken 64-59 in a classic matchup at the state Group 3 meet.
The title is Delsea’s third in the last four seasons. The Crusaders won Group 3 in 2018 and Group 2 in 2019. There was no meet held in 2020, and last year Pennsauken won Group 3.
It was the first 1-2 South Jersey finish in the state Group 3 meet since 2014, when Timber Creek and Delsea went 1-2.
And it was the closest state Group 3 meet since 2007, when Morris Hills and Monmouth Regional tied with 45 points.
Senior Andrew Littlehales, the state Group 3 3,200 champ indoors, had a huge couple days for the Crusaders.
In the 3,200 on Friday, Littlehales and West Morris Central senior Brandon Chen broke away from the pack early in the race and matched strides through 2,000 meters. On the 6th lap, Littlehales began to pull away, and he closed in 2:16.71 for his final 800 and 67.01 for his final lap to win in 9:12.75. Chen was 2nd in 9:16.43.
He came back Saturday and PR’d by more than two seconds in the 1,600, winning in 4:17.71 and finishing 20 meters ahead of Micah Lawson of Rahway, who was 2nd in 4:20.70. Littlehales, whose previous PR was 4:19.74 at South Jersey Elite, negative’d 2:09.86 and 2:07.85. He ran his final lap in 63.31.
Delsea also scored its usual huge points in the field.
Senior Enrico Barnett, who’s cleared 6-4 or better in six straight meets, cleared the bar at 6-6 on his first attempt to win the high jump. Triton senior Jarrett White cleared 6-6 on his second attempt to take 2nd place.
Senior Jason Nwosu won the shot put at 63-2 ½, a monster PR over his 61-7 from the Delsea Crusader Field #1 last week. He actually had four throws over 60 feet – 62-6, 60-11, 61-6 ½ and the 63-2 ½ on his final attempt. Monster series for Nwosu. He averaged 61-3 1/2 on his five legal throws, which would have been good enough to win the title by five feet.
Nwosu also threw 175-6 for 2nd in the discus – Daye Karibi-Whyte of Teaneck (my alma mater) bumped him for the lead with a 178-5 on his 3rd throw.
Delsea picked up 3rds in both weights as well. Senior Josh Caudill hit 53-11 for 3rd in the shot put, and senior Cade Berardelli took 3rd with a 158-8 discus toss.
Delsea got a 4th in the 400-meter relay, with the team of sophomore Christian Langston, senior Jaedyn Stewart, sophomore Xavier Wyatt and sophomore Domenic Teti running 43.52.
Although they came up a few points short of a state title, it was a tremendous weekend for Pennsauken as well.
The Indians won the 400-meter relay with sophomore Elijah Jennings, junior Kahlil Ali, Bronze sophomore Whitmore and junior Premier Wynn running 42.63 and got huge points in the 400 intermediates, where junior Bryce Tucker [53.82] and Wynn [54.28] went 1-2. More on that performance here. https://sjtrackblog.com/2022/06/10/pennsaukens-bryce-tucker-premier-wynn-go-1-2-in-intermediates-at-state-group-3-meet/
Tucker made it a hurdles sweep when he won the 110 highs in 14.42 on Saturday. He’s now won seven individual state titles with a Meet of Champions and a full senior year to go.
Pennsauken also won the 4-by-4, with senior Nadir Paige, Wynn, sophomore Ladanian McGrath and Tucker running 3:22.48. Wynn split 49.0 and Tucker 49.22.
Jennings PR’d in the 100 at 10.84 for a 6th place – into a 2.5 wind – and a point. He was the only sophomore who reached the final.